IE4 motor efficiency and advanced control technology combined

06 January 2015

The need to balance energy efficiency improvements against process control requirements has been removed with the introduction of synchronous reluctance (SynRM) motor and variable-speed drive (VSD) packages by ABB.

The company has recently introduced a synchronous reluctance motor that is said to combine the energy saving benefits of permanent magnet technology with the service-friendliness of an induction motor platform paired with an industrial drive and software. 

ABB’s motor has no rotor windings, in the traditional sense. Therefore, the rotor suffers very little power loss and its temperature remains lower than in conventional rotors, delivering typical losses 40% lower than its induction motor counterpart. 

The motor is available in two packages, the first is a motor which is the same physical size as a standard IE induction motor but operates at IE4 efficiency levels. The second variant is called ‘High Output’ (HO), which is typically two frame sizes smaller for the same equivalent power compared to induction motors and still maintains IE3 energy efficiency levels. 

These two variants promise better power density and higher energy efficiency. In addition, lower temperatures mean longer bearing life and longer re-greasing intervals which extends the time between maintenance interventions. 

A VSD is required to control the SynRM motor and these come in variants aimed at different industry sectors. The VSDs include a range of in-built features designed to deliver accurate and reliable process control, such as direct torque control (DTC) designed for accurate motor torque and speed, safe torque-off to allow for reliable isolation for maintenance, built-in safety features to comply with the 2006/42/EC Machinery Directive, and advanced programming tools for fine-tuning the drive to meet specific process requirements.

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